New ASCO Choosing Wisely® List Details Five Cancer Tests and Treatments Routinely Performed Despite Lack of Evidence
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has announced its second “Top Five” list of opportunities to improve the quality and value of cancer care. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), ASCO’s second Top Five list was released as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, sponsored by the ABIM Foundation, to encourage conversations between physicians and patients aimed at curbing the use of certain tests and procedures that are not supported by clinical research.
Control Your Cancer Pain
by Dhanalakshmi Koyyalagunta, MD
Pain is a distressing but common side effect of cancer and its treatment. In fact, many of the estimated 14 million cancer survivors in the United States will experience cancer pain at some point. For some, the cancer itself is the cause of the pain. For others, cancer treatments can lead to painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, radiation-induced tissue damage, and post-surgical pain.
Cancer, the Flu, and You
If you have cancer now or have had cancer in the past, you are at higher risk for complications from the flu. To help prepare you for the flu this season, here are answers to some of your most important flu-related questions.
Cancer Survivors Have More Frequent and Severe Menopausal Hot Flashes
Women who survive cancer have more frequent, severe, and troubling hot flashes than other women with menopausal symptoms, according to a study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). But surprisingly, the cancer survivors fare better psychologically and report a better quality of life than the women without cancer and have about the same levels of sexual activity and function.
What’s New in Cancer Research?
Highlights of the 49th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Combating Cancer Pain
by Nathan J. Neufeld, DO, and Paul J. Christo, MD, MBA
Unrelieved pain can affect all areas of a person’s quality of life. Hence, interventional pain-relieving therapies can be invaluable in the quest for pain reduction among cancer survivors experiencing unyielding pain. In addition to oral medicines, interventional pain therapies like nerve blocks and pain pumps can be quite effective. These specialized procedures offer the opportunity for more powerful pain control, with few side effects.
Leveraging the Power of Genomics
Ten years ago, a collaboration of hundreds of scientists announced it had finally completed sequencing the human genome – the location map for all the bits of genetic information that tell our cells when and where to develop, how to grow and feed themselves, and eventually, how to die. For diseases like cancer, this new understanding confirmed what researchers and physicians had begun to suspect and had found the first evidence for several decades earlier: Cancer is not a single disease.
You Don’t Have to Live in Pain
by Gary E. Deng, MD, PhD
Most people will experience pain at some point during their lives. If you have cancer, you may experience pain caused by the cancer itself or by its treatment, such as neuropathic pain caused by chemotherapy. If you’re experiencing pain, don’t try to tough it out. Chronic pain can lead to anxiety and depression and can increase stress. And chronic stress hurts both the body and the mind.